Practical programmatic: Four steps to reduce the carbon footprint of your digital campaigns
Sustainable Advertising with MiQ
It can be a tad overwhelming thinking about how to reduce the carbon footprint of digital campaigns. The majority of brands now publish ESG or Environmental, Social, and Governance goals, but they might not have thought about how digital advertising – like Sustainable Advertising Solution by MiQ – can help you reach those targets. Do you know the carbon footprint of your digital ad campaigns? Or how many emissions your campaign produces from start to finish? It’s a lot more than you think. That’s why we’ve been hard at work to shape the future of programmatic advertising by improving the sustainability of every digital campaign. We’ve written an entire ebook about it, but here’s a small taste of what’s inside.
Let’s dive in.
Four ways you can reduce the carbon footprint of your digital campaigns
1. Start by measuring the carbon emissions of each programmatic campaign
It’s all about the numbers and understanding where you stand when it comes to total emissions. If you don’t know how big the carbon footprint of each of your campaigns are, then you won’t know how to lower your impact. You can measure historical campaigns or current ones, but you’ll need at least four weeks of data to get a good idea of your starting point. Unless you want to grade your own homework, you’ll also want to source a partner with a transparent methodology to help you measure the emissions from your ad campaigns.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of some of the items you’ll want to measure:
- Total carbon
- Device analysis
- Domain analysis
- Market analysis
- Ad delivery method
- Supply chain length
- Media optimization
- Creative optimization
2. Understand industry benchmarks to score sustainability results
Now that you have your emissions data, how do you evaluate if the results are good or bad? This is where understanding digital industry benchmarks comes in. At MiQ, we’ve built out a Green Score Report that can help brands and agencies track their custom Green Score Index and dive into granular campaign emissions data to reduce the carbon footprint of programmatic campaigns.
Using your Green Score to build a more sustainable campaign
The way we use the Green Score Report is simple and doesn’t sacrifice primary KPIs. We made it this easy so that every advertiser can benefit from adding this to their programmatic campaigns risk-free. We use it to:
- Inform tactical day zero planning before your campaign goes live;
- Adapt mid-flight media mixes; and
- Dynamically reduce the carbon footprint of programmatic campaign using MiQ’s proprietary Green Score as a secondary KPI
You can choose to track the detailed emissions reporting and/or you can holistically monitor everything in one Green Score index and track progress overtime.
3. Optimize programmatic media, creative, and supply opportunities
Finally, you can now identify opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of programmatic campaigns. You can dive into tactics such as swapping for greener alternatives across the media, creative, and supply mixes to run campaigns that optimize toward greener outcomes. There are so many ways that you can achieve this – from shortening the supply chain length (which also makes campaigns more efficient and saves you money) to switching to streaming creatives (which also helps with viewability and attention).
Let’s look at the creative produced for campaigns as an example. Simply put, the longer the load, the bigger the emission. The creative format an advertiser considers impacts the frame rate, view length, screen sizes, etc. So naturally, each creative type will have a variance between reported carbon emissions since they each require a different quantity of energy to transfer data. But, you need to understand the drop-off between the wastage from larger emissions versus the effectiveness of the reach x frequency model to know what’s right for your campaign. Yes, switching from video to display might be initially greener, but what increase in frequency, a.k.a energy usage, is needed to reach the same level of campaign performance? By analyzing creative formats for campaign performance and sustainability in tandem, we can help the planet by making greener choices before the campaign delivers its first impression.
4. Educate your team to stay up-to-date on the latest sustainability strategies
We are all trying to find new ways to help the environment, but we might not know where to start when it comes to reducing carbon emissions from digital advertising campaigns. One thing that everyone can do is to get back into the classroom (or meeting room) and level-up on industry wisdom. If you manage global campaigns, you’ll need to learn about regional sustainability nuances. If you plan for direct response campaigns you’ll want to use the best tactics to see the same great campaign performance that you are used to. Either way, all teams can benefit from a wider understanding of the sustainable ads landscape, partners, and strategies. This is a new way of thinking and acting in our industry that will help the planet. The only way to make it successful is for everyone to be on the same page. Educational opportunities, like our MiQ Unlocked program, are are taught by technical subject matter experts and are vital to reducing the carbon footprint created by advertising.
MiQ Unlocked offers the opportunity to upskill in all things programmatic through sessions on sustainability and more. Learn more here.
What’s next? Reduce the carbon footprint of digital campaigns with sustainable advertising
At MiQ, we are fully invested in making all of programmatic advertising more sustainable. We have a whole suite of Sustainable Ad solutions and a bunch more innovations on the 2023 roadmap. We are committed to 2030 net zero targets and will be releasing annual reports to track our progress.
Together, we can (re)program marketing success to be incredibly performant and sustainable.
Looking for a programmatic partner to help you meet your ESG goals without losing your ability to deliver outcomes? Reach out to your MiQ rep to get started with your free Green Score. If you are new to MiQ let’s talk.